This is What Yoga Does to Us.
Learn How Yoga Helps With Stress and Diseases.
We must establish the correct etiology and pathogenesis in order to take prompt preventive measures against the rapidly increasing systemic disorders, conclude the authors of Stress management by Yoga, establishing the need for stress management through yoga. As against modern cellular pathology, the ancient Science of Ayurveda studies man with his entire constitution, as it describes three humors which regulate all the bodily functions during health and disease. It is directed towards the well-being of sense organs, mind, and spirit for maintaining a healthy psychosomatic personality, and it is noteworthy that the centres for all these psychic activities are located in the brain.
It was postulated that the brain with its known centers for the sensory and mental faculties, is able to maintain correct homeostasis by liberating various neurohumors known in the Indian medical terms as dhatus, thus balancing the state of the entire body during the stress and strain of life. In holistic medicine, the healthy state of the cerebral cortex regulates the microcirculation by sending its nerve impulses to organs and tissues, in order to meet their specific needs with a balanced output. Any excess of environmental disturbances conveyed to the brain centers through the sense organs, and the resultant disturbed state of psychic functions lead to functional disturbances in various organs and tissues
It is here that the recent advancement has helped greatly to measure these changes biochemically. Apart from environment being responsible for the development of stress diseases, genetic susceptibility could possibly be transmitted into relative decrease or increase of various degrading enzymes; also the presence of interoceptors in the viscera, endocrines, and blood channels when disturbed ultimately lead to disturbance in the respective areas in the cerebral cortex.
Thus there are 4 stages in the pathogenesis of disease: at first, the excessively stimulated neurohumoral changes at the cerebral cortex lead to psychic disturbances; which then spread to the hypothalamus and through it to the autonomic nerves and neuroendocrine apparatus; entire body neurohumours are so disturbed causing functional changes in the whole body; at the final stage, the disease settles down in one of the susceptible organs and tissues. Thereafter there occur inflammatory changes as a result of autoimmune response brought about by microcirculatory changes. Ultimately, as the process of autoimmune phenomenon subsides, the natural healing phenomenon sets in, which usually leads to fibrosis in that organ or tissue as a self-limiting process of various disorders of stress.
Therefore, it is now understandable that if one can learn to restrain the cerebral cortex, especially its psychic center, one can be free from the development of various stress disorders throughout one’s life. It is here that Yoga can be of immense help in prevention and thereby living a long, happy and healthy life.
Maharishi Patanjali says that some people are resistant by nature to every type of disorders of stress, a few others develop such resistance after birth by the prolonged use of some of the restorative medicines, and most can develop such resistance only by the practice of various types of Yoga. Regular practice of all the yogic procedures prescribed as the Ashtanga yoga brings the neurohumoral pattern to normalcy and improves the functional efficiency of all the organs and tissues by improving their microcirculation.
Modern physicists put forward a theory that the level of human consciousness depends upon the mobility of atomic components of the human brain. If one can increase the mobility of these atoms by the practice of Yoga, one can improve consciousness to a higher level. The more sensitive the area, the more the effect of the Yoga practice on that particular area. Thus, the psychic center, which is also supposed to be the area for spiritual growth, becomes highly efficient as a result. It is able to control the centers of emotions, hunger, thirst, etc. present in the limbic cortex and hypothalamus. Gradually one can develop the power of voluntary control of involuntary functions of the body leading to more efficient functioning of the body and the mind.